[Marxism] Dissolving the concrete into the abstract

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 6 22:28:57 MDT 2004

(This contines the dialogue with Steve Gabosch.

Steve Gabosch assures readers he's an independent actor and
not a "co-thinker" of THE MILITANT or anyone else. This is
pleasing, though seems to spends great deal Marxmail time 
in agreement with THE MILITANT, or explaining what in his
view, THE MILITANT means. Independence can be a good thing,
but it all depends on what one is independent OF... 

We haven't learned what, if any, his DISAGREMENTS might be 
with THE MILITANT, so readers are left to draw their own
conclusions. Steve also says he supported the March 20th
demonstrations. If he said that on Marxmail, I missed it 
and so I apologize. I'm glad he supported March 20th.

It was a wonderful world-wide mobilization which, to its
shame, THE MILITANT didn't announce, didn't support and
didn't build. To THE MILITANT March 20th was only a sales
opportunity, something to be taken advantage of by them.

Steve's taking the statistics from MSNBC and putting them
into graphic form is appreciated. Seeing the figures which
show 80% of the force attempting to occupy and pacify Iraq
are US forces confirms my estimate that if US troops were
withdrawn from Iraq, the war would be over. Immediately and
unconditionally, totally over. Zip, zilch, zero, finito.

As one who started reading THE MILITANT in high school, in
the spring of 1961, and who has read it fairly consistently
since then (Often referring to the bound volumes covering 
the 1959-1965 I own), I like to think I'm familiar with 
the positions of THE MILITANT. I read it every week on the 
internet. Occasionally I purchase in printed copy.

I first started selling THE MILITANT during the October
1962 missile crisis, and a few weeks later joined the
Young Socialist Alliance when Peter Camejo came through 
Madison, Wisconsin o a national speaking tour in defense
of the Cuban Revolution. I continued to sell THE MILITANT
regularly until June 1983. I'd sold it for years to my
co-workers, and was going out early in the morning up til
the end, selling it at plant gates along with other SWP
members in the Los Angeles branch to which I belonged.

There's still some good Cuba material there, but alas
and for the most part, it's material from the period of
Cuban history prior to the triumph of the Revolution, a
preference THE MILITANT doesn't explain. As a result one 
can only guess why they prefer those wonderful old things
the Cubans used to say over and above all those wonderful
current things which the Cubans are doing and saying now.

It does seem to me that THE MILITANT rejects most of the
things the Cubans are saying now, and so they simply do
not bother mention them in the paper. A few examples:

1-THE MILITANT didn't report Fidel Castro's speech on
the 45th anniversary of the Revolution on January 3.
Since the political line it puts forth is completely
at odds with what THE MILITANT projects, that was an
understandable editorial decision in its part. Here:

Cuba supports Chavez, Lula, Evo Morales, and Kirchner, 
while THE MILITANT doesn't support them or else avoids
any mention of these leaders. THE MILITANT faults them
for not having an explicitly anti-capitalist, socialist
political program. Even their solidarity with Cuba gets
them no praise in the pages of THE MILITANT. Take Lula.
THE MILITANT featured two full-feature articles going
after Lula as an reformist class collaborator, but in
November, when Lula went to Cuba, the US media went on
a rampage demanding that he meet with the US-purchased
opposition with Cuba [aka "the dissidents"] When Lula
declined to do what the US demanded, THE MILITANT made
no mention of it. Here are the two big attacks on Lula: 

This shouldn't surprise long-time readers, however, as
THE MILITANT felt the same way toward Fidel Castro and 
the July 26th movement, after all. In 1960 they wrote:

2-THE MILITANT rejects the anti-war movement while the
Cubans love, support, encourage and publicize it.

3-THE MILITANT rejects the anti-globalization movement,
the struggle against the FTAA and so on, while Cuba is
one of the movement's strongest supporters. Compare:

4-THE MILITANT rejected the rescue of Elian Gonzalez
from the rightist Cuban exiles who'd kidnapped him,
while the Cubans thought the rescue was a victory for
justice, though incomplete. Compare them yourself.

5-THE MILITANT denounces the newly-elected government
of Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero on Spain as "pro-war"
while the Cubans say Spain's new leader opposed the war.


p.s. regarding the Zapateristas...
In case you think I'm soft on the Zapatero administration
or any of its members, not to worry, while unmasking the
Zapateristas isn't high on my list of things to do, it's
not a revolutionary administration and I'm quite aware 
of that, as we see in the item reproduced below here.


Daily: Rumsfeld met secretly with Spain's next defense

Madrid, Apr 5 (EFE).- Spain's defense minister-designate
met secretly Monday with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld, the Madrid daily ABC reported.

Declining to cite its sources, the newspaper said Jose Bono
met the Pentagon chief without the participation of Spanish
diplomats or any representative of the outgoing
conservative government.

A Pentagon spokesman told EFE from Washington that he was
unaware of the meeting, saying that neither Rumsfeld nor
Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz had any official
appointments or events scheduled Monday.

Socialist Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez
Zapatero, who is to take office later this month,
campaigned on a pledge to pull Spain's 1,300 troops out of
Iraq. Since winning the March 14 election, he has affirmed
his intention to withdraw the forces by July 1 if the
United Nations does not take charge of the reconstruction
effort. EFE mm/dr


STEVE GABOSCH [excerpts]
I supported the March 20th protests.
Regarding the Militant, please remember, I do not speak for
that newspaper. Whatever approach I take to anything, I am
speaking for myself. The Militant speaks for itself. 
Beyond that, all my opinions, interpretations, etc. are
mine, even if I believe I agree with a statement or
position in the Militant. I am solely responsible for my
own words. Conversely, the Militant is solely responsible
for its words. It is not a "co-thinker" of mine, it does
not "take my approach," etc.
I also agree with many things you have said, and I always 
learn from your comments and reasoning process.

In solidarity, 
- Steve Gabosch


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